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October 3, 2010

Emotional Rollercoaster Of Cross-Country

A double-clean cross-country round was just what Team USA needed from Phillip Dutton and Woodburn. Photo by Sara Lieser.

 

What a day! Emotional rollercoaster is the phrase I would use! I am currently sitting with Woodburn who is hooked up to IV fluids whilst standing in ice and then getting acupuncture. That may sound like a lot to some, but these horses are used to the attention. Woodburn nods off to sleep whilst his needles are in.

Although the weather was perfect for running, we still do fluids to ensure that these horses are feeling their best for the next jumping phase.

Boyd had an amazing first round for the Americans, and Neville ate up the track. Obviously Buck was disappointed with his stop, and certainly Reggie was not totally into the running and jumping today, but Buck did a great job bringing him home safe. Karen knew what had to be done, and I think all would agree that Karen and Mandiba had a ride of their life. Becky and Comet put in a great performance to end the day in third.

With all countries having issues by the time it was Phillip’s turn, the United States had a good chance of going into second IF Woodburn jumped double clean.....

Due to a hold on course we had to wait nearly another hour before Woodburn was allowed on course. For me personally this is nerve wracking, I actually turned to Evie, Phillip’s wife, and said, "I would give anything to be Boyd’s groom right now—done and back safe in the barn!"

Anyway this is part of the game, and we had to wait. Unfortunately the Italian horse caught himself on a fence and got a bad shoulder laceration which needed to be dealt with. According to a press release the horse is now resting comfortably, and attending veterinarians are optimistic he will make a full recovery. 

Finally Phillip was out of the start box. At this stage I am choking back tears and know the longest 11 minutes of my life are underway. Phillip did what he does best and piloted Woodburn to a beautiful clear round with 3 seconds remaining on the clock.

We will be fighting till the end. Fingers crossed for the jog tomorrow...